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October 26, 2001

Escape-Proof Snaps

Try this easy technique to prevent snaps from opening.

Sometimes a fish can wind even the longest leader around itself. I remember a particular mako that wrapped itself up until the running line opened the snap swivel. When we brought it in, there, hanging in mid-air, was the open snap. It was a very tense few minutes till we landed the fish. Had the angler given any slack, the haywire-twisted loop at the end of the leader would surely have slipped out of the elbow of the swivel.
The safest way to avoid this problem is to use a plain swivel and bend the wire to it, but who wants to give up the convenience of a snap swivel?
My mate, Bob Raffel, came up with an idea to keep snaps from opening: He threads a piece of rubber tubing onto the double line then slides it snugly down over the snap once it's closed around the leader.
We also prevent open snaps by using Sampo Corkscrew swivels, which are a fixed shape and have no spring opening at all. The leader loop is threaded around and down the corkscrew until it rests in the elbow.
I use the Corkscrew swivel, which comes in 175- and 275-pound test, for all kinds of big-game fishing and the rubber sleeve for other fishing requiring different sizes of swivels.

- Capt. Zac Grossman
Parkland, Florida